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Pam and Jim's address while they are in Rochester: Pam and Jim Benedict 123 6th Ave SW #304 Rochester, MN 55904 PAM'S UNEXPECTED JOURNEY:
The social worker inquired if I had any support on my Multiple Myeloma Journey. I cried knowing you are all with me physically and in spirit. I am so grateful!
THE STORY: In late June, 2021 Rizzo, daughter Beth's dog ran under my feet as I was walking down the stairs to the dock in Detroit Lakes at the Purple Cabin. I flew up into the air and landed on my back on the beach at the water's edge. Though I experienced great pain in my ribs, subsequent doctor's visits and x-rays did not detect a broken rib. However, I had high blood pressure. Much doctoring and more than a month a month passes with NO relief. On August 17 I put on my big girl pants and checked myself into Emergency at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, thinking I had a heart issue and a sore rib. They announced that my heart was in great shape, I did in fact have 2 broken ribs, and I had a cancer called Multiple Myeloma.
BASIC MULTIPLE MYELOMA: This is a cancer of the white blood cells. The healthy white blood cells provide antibodies and are a part of the immune system which help fight infection. I think of the MM cells as having two nuclei and being lazy. They crowd out and impair production of white cell, red cells and platelets.
TREATMENT: On August 19, our 54th wedding anniversary, I began treatment. Dr Zahr, at Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo became my Hematologist/Oncologist. He put me on a 4 drug regimen. The results to date have been great. There were NO myeloma cells found in my last blood work. Dr Zahr and Mayo thought a Bone Marrow Transplant would be beneficial.
TREATMENT SCHEDULE: FRIDAY, FEB. 18, 2022: I will begin a 6 week Bone Marrow Transplant process as an outpatient at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. This will be an Autologous Transplant which uses my own stem cells.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18-MONDAY, Feb 21: I will receive GROWTH FACTOR to increase stem cell production and to help the stem cells proliferat and move out of the bone marrow.
TUESDAY, FEB 22-WEDNESDAY FEB 23: They will collect my blood, collect the stem cells by Apheresis, and return the rest of my blood back into my body.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26: CHEMO!!!!
MONDAY, FEB 28: TRANSPLANT!!! (All day) The collected stem cells will be infused into my blood stream where they will ravel to my bone marrow and begin to differentiate. Hopefully they are happy, excited and will begin creating new cancer free white blood cells.
FEB 29-APRIL 1: I will have DAILY OUTPATIENT check ups at Mayo.
THE MOST DIFFICULT TIME WILL LIKELY BE THE 2 WEEKS AFTER THE TRANSPLANT. STAY WITH ME. I WILL NEED YOUR STRENGTH!